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You have to be in contract and with T-Mobile for at least 90 days for this to work.
*** It has been noted that you may now need to go through Customer Care to get your phone unlocked.
said by T-Mobile Press Release:
First, you must understand that Cingular and T-Mobile network sharing agreement is only effective in the NYC metro market, including north NJ, Long Island in the east coast and in California/Nevada markets in the west coast. Second, let's clarify that they certainly don't roam on each other or lease anything from each other in these areas. This is a Network Sharing agreement, which is a different concept that has never been done in the US before. That's why so many people are confused with this.
T-Mobile and Cingular decided to create a subsidiary called "GSM Facilities" or "GSM Factory". T-Mobile calls is one way, Cingular calls it the other way, but it is the same entity. This entity or subsidiary is in charge of maintaining and operating the GSM networks in NYC/CA/NV on behalf of Cingular and T-Mobile. So neither company interacts with the networks directly without going through GSM Facilities first. GSM Facilities is funded money from both T-Mobile and Cingular based on the minutes used by each carrier. If T-Mobile uses the network more than Cingular, then they have to pay more money to GSM Facilities.
The cell base stations/antennae used by these GSM networks are directly owned by GSM Facilities which as I said before is co-owned by both T-Mobile and Cingular as if two people were owners of the same house. The spectrum blocks used by these towers is also shared. T-Mobile uses the A and D 1900Mhz blocks in NYC and so does Cingular because they share the same channels. In CA, Cingular uses the B and F channels and so does T-Mobile. In reality, sometimes a T-Mobile user can be using a particular channel, and then later on, a Cingular user may be on that same channel. Besides all that, under the hood, calls on Cingular and T-Mobile are routed through separate switches because they have separate network switches located in different centers. The towers communicate with both Cingular and T-Mobile switches since they are separate. That's why Cingular gives out area codes and exchanges different than those from T-Mobile to their customers. Billing, of course is done separately.
If the agreement is broken, both companies will be returned their original assets. T-Mobile in NYC/NJ and Cingular in CA/NV.
Here's the difference between Roaming and Network Sharing:
1) Roaming is when there is no native presence of your carrier in a market or geographical area and they use another carrier's network to provide coverage. In this case, your carrier is not allowed to sell service in that area because they don't have a license for that area. Therefore, you cannot get an area code and exchange number that belongs to that area. Also, not all network services are guaranteed such as GPRS, SMS, Caller ID, etc.
2) Network sharing is when two carriers have a joint agreement to provide NATIVE SERVICE using the same base stations and towers. However, each carrier has licenses to sell service in that area and therefore you are able to get an area code and exchange belonging to that area. The area codes and/or exchanges offered are not the same for the other carrier sharing the network. All networks services are guaranteed to work in this area such as SMS, Caller ID, GPRS, etc.
Finally, when some of people claim T-Mobile is better than Cingular in NYC, they are not talking about coverage problems. They are talking about CAPACITY problems. T-Mobile has more calling capacity on its network than Cingular in NYC, and although the signal strength is the same (because they use the same towers), the ability for the call to go through is better on T-Mobile because they have more switch capacity than Cingular. This has nothing to do with adding more towers. It is exclusively internal. Also, this has nothing to do with priority. There is no such thing as T-Mobile having more priority than Cingular to use the towers. Both carriers have equal access to the towers and spectrum. They don't discriminate on who gets to use the towers first or who gets more tower spectrum since both carriers equally share the entire spectrum blocks they have licensed. It is all about Cingular's lack of call switching capacity which is INDEPENDENT of the towers, spectrum, or channels available.
Finally, there is no such thing as towers used exclusively by one of the two carriers sharing the network. Any tower that goes up is connected to the same network and therefore it will benefit BOTH carriers equally.
Credit goes to bobolito of »www.howardforums.com
Another alternative for Nokia users is to go to Nokia's website and run the wizard. You will get an SMS that will create a new entry in the GPRS settings menu and and prompt you if you want to use it.
You can go to »www.callertunes.com to get information.
Log into T-Mobile.com by going here: »my.t-mobile.com/
After you log-in, click on "Communication Tools" at the top.
At the white box in the right, click on "Change my phone's e-mail address"
****Update**** (thank you for the tip!)
To change your T-mobile phone/email address with an alias rather than your 10-digit number @tmomail.net, you now access this feature from: My T-Mobile account, top center of the page has a link called "MobileLife" which will open a sub menu, you choose the "E-mail and Text Tools", then a link at the bottom of the page "change email address". You can change your email alias there (current as of Dec. 8, 2011)
Your Price Plan allows you to use up to "X" number of minutes per month. Any leftover minutes expire and you are issued new minutes monthly. If you exceed the amount of minutes in your "bucket" of minutes you will then be billed a per minute charge for the "overage". It is your responsibility to keep track of your minute usage.
Dial #646# and send the call to get a free text message showing your minute usage. Notice the time/date listed - if you have made calls after that time, they are not counted in the usage listed. T-Mobile (TMO for short) does not offer real-time usage. Usage is normally delayed from a few minutes to several hours. But if you a roaming on a partner's network that usage may be delayed for weeks. Learn your Price Plan and how many Whenever minutes you get monthly.
Not all plans include Free Nights, Free Weekends, or Free T-Mobile-to-T-Mobile. If you do have free weekends and the message says "used 30 whenever minutes and 40 weekend minutes" disregard the weekend minutes. They are given for those plans that do not include free weekends. If you have free weekends just pay attention to the number of whenever minutes used. The Sidekick and some handsets can't use #646#. Try dialing 611 SEND then at the prompt press 1 to hear your minute usage. Or register for MyTmobile.com where you can see your minute usage online.
If you call #646# on the first day of your new billing cycle it may not reflect you got your new minutes until mid-day. But be assured you get new minutes at midnight on the first day of your bill cycle.
IF you have Free Unlimited Nights you must hang up and restart your call at 9:00pm or after for it to be free. And if you start a call by 6:59am the whole call is free even if you talk past 7:00am. Weekend calls are calls that BEGIN between Saturday night at midnight thru Sunday night at 11:59pm
Customer Care is open 24/7. Call 611 from your handset (FREE CALL). If you are having a problem with your handset or service, call from another phone so troubleshooting can be performed. The number is on the back of your bill: 1-800-937-8997.
Many problems can be fixed by simply powering your handset off, then powering it back on. Always try this, then test your handset again, before calling Customer Care. Also you should do this daily to prevent echo and other problems. New York City customers should do this twice daily.
TMO bills for connected calls from SEND to END. Calls are rounded up to the next minute. So if you call a friend and their answering machine picks up in 30 seconds, and then you end the call, that will be a 1 minute call.
If you REJECT a call it will count as a 1 minute call. If you just let it ring and then forward to voicemail on its own then it will NOT count as a 1 minute call or appear in your call detail. You have 500 additional minutes for those type of forwarded calls (called Conditional Call Forwarding). But, if you should exceed 500 minutes then you start using your bucket of whenever minutes or if out of minutes are billed as overage and then it will appear on your call detail. It is highly unusual for most people to run out. Calls forwarded during you free periods (if any) don't use up your 500 Conditional Call Forwarding minutes. A forwarded T-Mobile-to-T-Mobile call is no longer counted as a T-Mobile-to-T-Mobile call.
You can also Unconditionally Call Forward [forward all calls option]your calls to a different number but that uses straight minutes from your plan. If you need to temporarily forward your calls it is usually best to Conditionally Call Forward them [forward when not able to take calls, forward when busy, forward when not available option].
You use minutes whether you MAKE or RECEIVE a call.
Calls to "toll free" numbers use minutes. They are not "free", they are just free of toll charges.
If you have a 3000 minute Regional Plan you have a Home Calling Area (HCA). Find out what states are included in your HCA. If you use your phone outside of that area you pay .49 per minute roaming charge to make or receive a call. If the number you call is long distance from where you are standing then you will also pay an additional .20 a minute long distance fee. If you are in your HCA and you call to a state outside your HCA then you pay a .20 a minute long distance fee. Prices to other countries vary. Canada is .20 a minute. Mexico is .29. Smart Access accounts are blocked from calling Mexico.
In theory calling voicemail from your handset uses minutes unless during your free period. Having the free T-Mobile-to-T-Mobile does not guarantee calling voicemail will be a free call although do to a system issue some customers do receive this benefit. You may call voicemail from another phone and avoid using your minutes by dialing your own mobile number and letting the call forward to voicemail. When the greeting plays press the "*" key and enter your password when prompted. The default voicemail password is the last 4 digits of your mobile number You should change this to something more secure.
TMO has some roaming partners like Cingular, AT&T, Western Wireless, etc. If you travel to an area where TMO doesn't have their own service but has a roaming partner your handset will automatically register on their system so you can make/receive calls. You can not register on their system in areas where TMO doesn't have an agreement. If you have a Regional Plan you can make/receive calls from them at no additional cost as long as you are within your HCA. If you are on a Nationwide Plan your HCA is the 48 states plus Hawaii, but NOT Alaska.
There is no charge to pay your bill with a credit card or electronic check payment. Do it online at T-Mobile.com, by using the automated system (611 from handset or 1-800-937-8997), or with a Customer Care representative. Payments post within two hours normally. If service is suspended for non-payment it will restore within two hours if you have paid the necessary amount.
You also can set up automated monthly payments on T-Mobile.com or with a Customer Care rep. You will still get your bill and have time to look it over. If you have any disputes call Customer Care. If not your current ballance will automatically be deducted from your credit card or checking/savings acct 3 days before the due date printed on your bill.
Peak=Monday-Friday daytime 7:00am-8:59pm
Off Peak=Monday-Friday nights 9:00pm-6:59am
Weekend=Saturday & Sunday
For a call to be a T-Mobile-to-T-Mobile call on a Nationwide Plan you must be "on network" (not on a roaming partner's network) and the other number must be a T-Mobile customer (they don't have to be on-network).
For a call to be a T-Mobile-to-T-Mobile call on a Regional Plan you must be "on network" (not on a roaming partner's network) and in your HCA and the other number must be a T-Mobile customer (they don't have to be on-network) and in your HCA.
Not all plans include Free Nights, Free Weekends, or Free T-Mobile-to-T-Mobile. Check the details of your plan before assuming you have any of these free calling periods. If you don't have them and want them call Customer Care.
compass.t-mobile.com/ and type in the address or intersection that you want to check the coverage for.
for each one recieved, it either goes against your allowted text messages or $.10 each.
Feedback received on this FAQ entry:
850mhz coverage requires a handset that supports it. For more info regarding that, check out:
After you login, click on "profile" at the top. (Next to your name)
Select a line. You can now choose what permissions for the line.
Sign up at »my.t-mobile.com
Feedback received on this FAQ entry:
here with the web address in the field. (must have "http://" part). When you get the text message, scroll down to the address and select it. Bookmark it for later use if you want.
Feedback received on this FAQ entry:
1. First you have to take 2 pictures with your cellphone camera and send them to your cellphone number for T-Mobile to properly set things up.
-After you shoot the pictures, each time it will ask you if you want to send to My Album, which is the default, so Hit Options--->Send To--->Phone Number and type in your cellphone number, ok.
-Hit send and they will go to the T-mobile site, you will later receive 2 Picture Messages from the T-mobile site with each photo.
-Hit view and if you can see the photos that you sent, you are set up and ready for step 2.
2. On your computer, open your email program and attach the photo that you want to send to your cellphone. In the recipient field, type in "your cellphone email@example.com"
-After awhile, you will receive a picture message alert on your cellphone. Hit View and you should see the photo that you sent from your computer.
-You can now hit Options--->Save Content--->Picture, it will now reside in the My Downloads section of your phone Images.
3. To send a photo to your computer you need to send a Picture Message to your regular email address.
4. Wallpaper Limitation: A minor annoyance is that the "Stretch Fit To Screen" option is only available when using photos taken by the cellphone camera and not available when you are using a downloaded photo from your computer. You will get a white margin on top and bottom when using a photo in landscape orientation and white borders on the left and right sides with a photo in portrait orientation. I was able to work around this by cropping the photo into a square orientation, which fit the screen better, before sending it from my computer to the phone.
Thanks to njb52 for this information!
Any old T-Mobile phone can be used with T-Mobile. Just put in the sim card! No calling them is needed.